Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Marathon Child

Via Sify, 3-yr-old boy sets eyes on Guiness as marathon runner

Via BBC, India's marathon boy, aged three

He runs seven hours at a stretch, sometimes as much as 48km (30 miles). On a daily basis. And Budhia Singh is just three and a half years old.

When Budhia's father died a year ago, his mother, who washes dishes in Bhubaneswar, capital of the eastern Indian state of Orissa, was unable to provide for her four children. She sold Budhia to a man for 800 rupees ($20).

But the young boy came to the attention of Biranchi Das, a judo coach and the secretary of the local judo association. Mr Das said he noticed Budhia's talent when scolding him for being a bully.

"Once, after he had done some mischief, I asked him to keep running till I came back," Mr Das told the BBC. "I got busy in some work. When I came back after five hours, I was stunned to find him still running."

Is it just us or is this a really disturbing story? First, the kid gets sold by his mother. Then, some guy punishes a three year old kid by asking him to, in effect, keep running for five hours.

Worst of all is this media treatment of the kid as though he is some kind of circus curiosity. Is it even healthy for three year olds to be running marathons? Does anyone even care? Where are our child protection agencies?


libertarian said...


I'm pretty sure if you asked the kid, he'd choose the long runs and the plentiful food over the misery at home. Being sold, he could have ended up a LOT worse than it turned out.

Anonymous said...

missing the wood for the trees.
It happens all the time on our media


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